Submissions to Government Consultations & Processes 2006 – 2010


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Gendering the National Disability Care and Support Scheme’ – Submission to Stage One of the Productivity Commission National Disability Care and Support Inquiry (August 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

In December 2009, as part of the National Disability Strategy (NDS), the Australian Government announced a Productivity Commission National Inquiry into a Long-term Care and Support Scheme for people with severe and profound disability in Australia. To inform the Inquiry, the Productivity Commission released an Issues Paper in late May 2010, and conducted an initial series of Public forums. In August 2010, WWDA completed its initial Submission to Stage One of the Productivity Commission Inquiry. WWDA’s Submission focuses on the critical requirement to ensure that any Disability Care & Support Scheme (DCSS) is gendered – consistent with Australia’s international obligations to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women with disabilities; to ensure equality between men with disabilities and women with disabilities, and to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of women with disabilities. In this context, WWDA’s Submission looks at the key international human rights treaties and instruments to which Australia is a party, and also examines the domestic legislative and policy contexts for the promotion of gender equality. WWDA’s Submission argues that these obligations provide the rationale, need, context and framework for a gendered DCSS and reflect Australia’s commitment to the promotion of an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective into all legislative and policy frameworks, along with the implementation of parallel strategies in order to promote gender equality and denounce discrimination against women. Copyright WWDA August 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Australian Government Consultation Paper: Family Violence – Improving Legal Frameworks (June 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

In July 2009, the Federal Attorney-General (Hon Robert McClelland) asked the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to conduct an Inquiry together with the New South Wales Law Reform Commission (NSWLRC) into particular questions in relation to family violence, including ‘what, if any, improvements could be made to relevant legal frameworks to protect the safety of women and their children’. In late April 2010, the ALRC and the NSWLRC released a 1022 page Consultation Paper ‘Family Violence – Improving Legal Frameworks’ for the Inquiry. The Paper posed a range of questions, as well as options and proposals for reform. Due to the short timeframe for responses, WWDA elected to focus its response to the Consultation Paper on issues canvassed in Section 4 (Family Violence: A Common Interpretive Framework?) and Section 19 (Integrated Responses and Best Practice), covering such themes as definitions, guiding principles, protected persons, training and education, and data collection. Copyright WWDA June 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Australian Government’s Draft National Disability Advocacy Framework (June 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

In mid 2010, the Australian Government released its Draft National Disability Advocacy Framework (NDAF), developed by Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to assist in improving the administration of disability advocacy in Australia.This Submission is WWDA’s response to the Draft Framework. WWDA’s Submission expresses our concern at the complete omission of a gender perspective in the Draft Framework, and argues that, consistent with Article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the NDAF must make explicit recognition of the impact of multiple discriminations caused by the intersection of gender and disability, and include the need for focused, gender-specific measures to ensure that women with disabilities experience full and effective enjoyment of their human rights. Copyright WWDA June 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Women With Disabilities and The Human Right to Health: A Policy Paper’ (May 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

Members of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), have identified the right to the highest attainable standard of health as a priority issue of concern. In keeping with WWDA’s systemic advocacy work to create greater awareness among governments and other relevant institutions of their obligations to fulfil, respect, protect and promote the human rights of women with disabilities, WWDA’s Policy Paper examines what is meant by women with disabilities right to health. It places this fundamental human right in the context of Australia’s obligations under three of the key human rights conventions it has ratified: the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The Paper highlights the ways in which women and girls with disabilities in Australia are denied the freedoms and entitlements necessary for the realisation of their right to health. It then provides an overview of a range of key policy initiatives required to address the structural, socioeconomic and cultural barriers that currently deny women with disabilities their right to health. The paper includes key strategies for consideration by the Australian Government. Recognising that the right to health is dependent on the realisation of other human rights, and extends to the underlying determinants of health, the key strategies identified in WWDA’s paper address a broad range of themes, that cut across several government portfolios.Copyright WWDA May 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Planning Options and Services for People Ageing with a Disability (May 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

On 25 November 2009 the Senate referred the following matter to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 2 September 2010: Access to planning options and services for people with a disability to ensure their continued quality of life as they and their carers age, and to identify any inadequacies in the choice and funding of planning options currently available to people ageing with a disability and their carers. WWDA developed a Submission to this important Inquiry. WWDA’s Submission covers a range of issues including for example: Positive Ageing versus Successful Ageing; Ageing versus ageing with long-term disability; Factors affecting women with disabilities; Ageing with long-term impairments; Citizenship; Lack of informed advisors and services; and the need for disability service providers to have aged care skills. WWDA’s Submission includes a number of recommendations. Copyright WWDA May 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Australian Attorney-General on the issue of Sterilisation of Minors (March 2010) [PDF]  [Word]

This Submission is WWDA’s response to a component of the Australian Government’s response to the United Nations (UNESCAP) Questionnaire for Governments on Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPFA) and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000). WWDA’s Submission deals specifically with the issue of sterilisation of minors with disabilities and calls on the Australian Government to to act under its external affairs power to legislate to prohibit non-therapeutic sterilisation of minors unless there is a serious threat to health or life. WWDA’s Submission is endorsed by a number of organisations and individuals from around the world. Copyright WWDA 2010.


Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), People With Disability Australia (PWDA), Physical Disability Council NSW (PDCN), and Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA): Submission to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) regarding the provision of Adjustable Height Examination Beds (November 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

For the past five years, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) has led a campaign to have the provision of adjustable-height examination beds made mandatory in the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practices. WWDA has worked on this issue alongside People With Disability Australia (PWDA) and in more recent times, the Physical Disability Council NSW (PDCN), and Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA), have joined forces in this national effort. Support for the campaign has also been given by the Australian Human Rights Commission. In late 2009, WWDA, PWDA, PDCN and COTA (NSW) developed a joint Submission to the RACGP as part of the consultations for the Review of the RACGP Standards for General Practices. The Submission clearly articulated our long held position that the provision of adjustable-height examination beds be made a ‘flagged’ (mandatory) requirement in the RACGP Standards for General Practices. The collective Submission to the RACGP from WWDA, PWDA, PDCN and COTA (NSW) was finalised in late November and endorsed by more than 200 organisations and individuals. Copyright November 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Australian NGO Beijing+15 Review (September 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

In 1995, the Fourth World Conference on Women was held by the United Nations in Beijing, China by the United Nations. At that conference, all the governments of all nations attending agreed to the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA). The BPFA was a landmark agreement. It identified a range of actions governments, the United Nations and civil society groups should take to make women’s human rights a reality. In March 2010, the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will undertake the fifteen-year review of the implementation of the BPFA. This document is WWDA’s Submission to the Australian NGO Beijing+15 Review. It looks at the BPA critical areas for action, in the context of women with disabilities in Australia, and provides a brief analysis of some f the key issues for disabled women and girls. The voices of women with disabilities are strengthened with the use of direct quotes relating to particular issue areas. Copyright WWDA September 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Attorney-General’s Department on initial views to inform the Australian Government’s report under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) (September 2009)  [PDF] [Word]

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international human rights treaty and is the response of the international community to the long history of discrimination, exclusion and dehumanisation of people with disabilities. It was ratified by the Australian Government on July 2008, and entered into force in Australia in August 2008. To meet their reporting obligation under the CRPD, States must report submit an initial report two years after joining and then every four years. The Australian Government’s initial report under the CRPD is due in August 2010. The Australian Government recently invited non-government organisations and members of the public to submit any initial views on information that they would like to see included in the Australian Government’s report. This document is WWDA’s brief submission to the Australian Government, outlining some of the key issues WWDA believes should be addressed in the Government’s initial report. Copyright WWDA September 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to Inform the Development of the Framework for the new National Women’s Health Policy (NWHP) (August 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

This paper is WWDA’s Submission to the Australian Government to inform the development of the Framework for the new National Women’s Health Policy (NWHP). WWDA’s Submission focuses predominantly on the Framework for the new NWHP, in the context of human rights and women with disabilities. It examines what is meant by the ‘right to health’ and looks at women with disabilities’ right to health under the relevant international human rights treaties to which Australia is a party. Giving consideration to Australia’s obligation to women with disabilities under these core human rights treaties, the denial of women with disabilities right to health is highlighted, demonstrating that successive Governments have failed in their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of women with disabilities, and in doing so, have denied disabled women the freedoms and the entitlements for health. The Principles to underpin the new NWHP are addressed and the inequities experienced by women with disabilities in claiming their right to health are examined. Examples are given to illustrate these inequities in the areas of: the right to freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse; the right to bodily integrity; the right to found a family and to reproductive freedom; the right to health facilities, goods and services; the right to work; and, the right to an adequate standard of living, including adequate housing. The final section of WWDA’s Submission looks at priorities for the new NWHP and identifies (and provides rationale for) both priority groups and priority thematic issues that should be included in the new NWHP. Copyright WWDA August 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to National Broadband Network: Regulatory Reform for 21st Century Broadband Discussion Paper (June 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

On 7 April 2009 the Australian Government announced that it was seeking views on options for reforming the existing telecommunications regime to make it work more effectively, particularly during the transition to the National Broadband Network. A discussion paper was released inviting comment from interested parties by June 2009. A Discussion Paper was released which outlined various reform options that the Government is considering to reform the telecommunications regulatory framework. . This Submission is WWDA’s response to the National Broadband Network: Regulatory Reform for 21st Century Broadband Discussion Paper. Copyright WWDA June 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the National Human Rights Consultation (May 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

This Submission is the response from Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the National Human Rights Consultation. The national public consultation about the legal recognition and protection of human rights and responsibilities in Australia was launched by the Australian Government on 10 December 2008, the 60th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The independent Committee established to undertake the nationwide consultation is to report to the Australian Government by 31 August 2009. WWDA’s Submission highlights the fact that although Australia has embraced and ratified a number of international human rights treaties and instruments affirming its commitment to protect and promote the human rights of women and girls (including women and girls with disabilities), in practice, they have had little bearing on improving the human rights of women and girls with disabilities in Australia – who continue to experience serious violations of their human rights, as well as failures to promote and fulfil their rights. WWDA’s Submission focuses on several key human rights where there are continuing abuses against women with disabilities in Australia, and clearly demonstrates that the human rights of women with disabilities in Australia are not currently sufficiently protected and promoted. Copyright WWDA 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Review of Consumer-related Industry Code Processes (May 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

On 31 March 2009 the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, announced a review of the processes used to develop and review consumer-related industry codes made under Part 6 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. Input was invited from interested parties on ways to reform these processes to make them more efficient, effective and responsive. This Submission is WWDA’s response to the Review of Consumer-related Industry Code Processes. Copyright WWDA May 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Parenting Issues for Women with Disabilities in Australia’ – A Policy Paper (May 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

This Paper canvasses issues relating to parenting for women with disabilities in Australia, and stems from the identified concerns of the members of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), along with the dearth of Australian research in the area. The right to found a family and to reproductive freedom is clearly articulated in a number of international human rights treaties to which Australia is a signatory. Yet, for many women with disabilities in Australia who are parents or seeking to become parents, these fundamental human rights are not achievable. Instead, as WWDA’s Policy Paper demonstrates, disabled women experience a range of barriers and restrictions in realising their rights to full reproductive freedoms, particularly their right to found and raise a family. These economic, social and environmental barriers and restrictions are many, varied, and entrenched – yet remain largely ignored in Australian family related research, legislation, policies, and services. WWDA’s Policy Paper includes a number of key recommendations to the Australian Government, in particular the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), which is the Australian Government’s principal source of advice on social policy. Copyright WWDA May 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Feasibility Study into an Independent Disability Equipment Program (April 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

On 16 February 2009, Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, announced that his Department would undertake a feasibility study into whether a disability equipment program that is independent of telecommunications carriers should be established. A discussion paper was prepared around the Terms of Reference for the study, and outlined some of the key issues relating to the supply of specialised telecommunications equipment to people with disabilities. This Submission is WWDA’s response to the Discussion Paper ‘Feasibility Study into an Independent Disability Equipment Program’. Copyright WWDA April 2009.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission in response to the Australian Government’s Discussion Paper: ‘Developing a National Disability Strategy for Australia’ (December 2008) [HTML]  [PDF]  [Word]

In November 2008, the Australian Government released for consultation its Discussion Paper ‘Developing a National Disability Strategy for Australia’. The paper was prepared to inform people about the Australian Government’s plans to improve support and remove barriers for people with disability, their families and carers, and to ask for ideas about how this can be best achieved. This Submission is WWDA’s response to the Discussion Paper ‘Developing a National Disability Strategy for Australia’. Copyright WWDA December 2008.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into pay equity and associated issues related to increasing female participation in the workforce(August 2008) [HTML]  [PDF]  [Word]

On Thursday 26 June 2008 the Acting Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment and Workplace Relations to inquire into and report on pay equity and associated issues related to increasing female participation in the workforce. WWDA’s Submission to this Inquiry looks at the intersection of gender, disability and employment and highlights the obvious marginalization and exclusion of women with disabilities in the Australian labour market – a situation that has remained unchanged in Australia for over a decade. Written by Carolyn Frohmader for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Copyright WWDA August 2008.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘We’re women too!’ – Response to the Australian Government’s Consultation on the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children(July 2008) [HTML]  [PDF]  [Word]

In early 2008, the newly elected Rudd Labor Government announced its intention to establish a National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children. The National Council was established in May 2008 and has a number of roles, including the responsibility of drafting a National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Children. As part of this task, in June 2008, the Council called for public responses to inform the development of the Plan. This Submission forms Women With Disabilities Australia’s (WWDA) initial response to that task. Written by Carolyn Frohmader for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Copyright WWDA July 2008.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Shut Out, Hung Out, Left Out, Missing Out’- Response to the Australian Government’s Green Paper ‘Which Way Home? A New Approach to Homelessness’ (June 2008) [HTML]  [PDF]  [Word]

In January 2008 the Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd MP, and the Minister for Housing, the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, announced the development of a comprehensive long-term plan to tackle homelessness as a matter of national priority. The Australian Government developed a Green Paper entitled Which Way Home? as a first step in developing this new approach to homelessness. This Submission forms Women With Disabilities Australia’s (WWDA) initial response to the Green Paper. WWDA’s submission provides a brief analysis of the intersection of gender, disability and homelessness and highlights the fact that women with disabilities are one of the most vulnerable groups experiencing, and at risk of experiencing, homelessness in Australia. WWDA’s Submission also details a range of strategies for consideration in addressing homelessness for women with disabilities. These strategies target the factors that increase the risk of homelessness for disabled women, including: lack of affordable, secure housing; unemployment & inadequate income; and domestic & family violence. Written by Carolyn Frohmader for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Copyright WWDA June 2008.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘The Role of Advocacy in Advancing the Human Rights of Women with Disabilities in Australia’- Policy & Position Paper) (April 2008) [HTML]  [PDF]  [Word]

In April 2008, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) released this Policy Paper which seeks to articulate WWDA’s approach to disability advocacy in advancing and promoting the human rights of women with disabilities. The paper also looks at how human rights instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) can and should be used to inform and guide disability advocacy work. Written by Carolyn Frohmader for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Copyright WWDA April 2008.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP) Consultation Paper: ‘Working Towards a Common Understanding of Advocacy’ (August 2007)

In July 2006, the Australian Government released a consultation paper ‘Working Towards a Common Understanding of Advocacy’. This Consultation Paper formed part of the Australian Government’s Review of its National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP). In August 2007, WWDA developed a Submission in response to the Consultation Paper, and WWDA’s Submission is reproduced here. Written by Carolyn Frohmader for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Copyright WWDA August 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the South Australian Government ‘Review of South Australian Domestic Violence Laws’ (May 2007)

In November 2005, the South Australian Government pledged to reform comprehensively rape, sexual assault and domestic violence laws in South Australia. A Discussion Paper was developed entitled ‘South Australian Domestic Violence Laws Discussion and Options for Reform Paper’. In early May 2007, WWDA developed a Submission in response to the Discussion Paper, and WWDA’s Submission is reproduced here. Written by Carolyn Frohmader for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA). Copyright WWDA May 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: WWDA Policy & Position Paper: ‘The Development of Legislation to Authorise Procedures for the Sterilisation of Children with Intellectual Disabilities’ (June 2007)

This paper seeks to articulate WWDA’s position on the issue of the forced sterilisation of minors, particularly in the context of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) work on the development of uniform legislation to authorise procedures for the sterilisation of children with an intellectual disability. The paper raises a number of key issues that WWDA asserts must be thoroughly considered in this debate, including: the application of human rights principles; pre-emptive assumptions; definitions, terminology and language; the consideration of procedures and their consequences; and, compliance with international human rights treaties. The paper argues that people with an intellectual disability have the same human rights as people without intellectual disabilities, and that the creation of legislation which enables authorisation of the sterilisation of children with intellectual disabilities, is in itself, a patent infringement of the human rights of those it seeks to protect. Copyright WWDA 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: WWDA Systemic Advocacy on the Unlawful Sterilisation of Minors with Disabilities (2003 – 2008)

Whilst WWDA has worked for a number of years, on the issues of unlawful sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities, the information provided here relates specifically to WWDA’s systemic advocacy on the Federal, State & Territory Government’s proposal to develop draft national, uniform legislation which sets out the procedures that jurisdictions could adopt in authorising the sterilisation of children who have an intellectual disability. The information provided here was prepared by WWDA in March 2007. The section includes responses from a number of stakeholders to WWDA’s systemic advocacy camapign urging the Federal and State/Territory Governments to develop universal legislation which prohibits sterilisation of children except in those circumstances which amount to those that are a serious threat to health or life.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (USO) Review (2007) [PDF]  [Word]

This Submission is the response from Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the Department of Communications, Information Technology & the Arts ‘Telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (USO) Review’. WWDA is supported by the Australian Government to represent it constituents in communications matters, through the Telecommunications Consumer Representation Grants Program of the Department of Communication, Information Technology and the Arts. This Submission was prepared by WWDA’s Telecommunications Group, chaired by Sue Salthouse. Copyright WWDA 2007.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee ‘Inquiry into the Funding and Operation of The Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement’ (July 2006)

On 11 May 2006 the Australian Senate agreed that the Senate Community Affairs References Committee undertake an inquiry into the funding and operation of the Commonwealth-State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA). The Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement (CSTDA) is a five-year binding agreement between the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments outlining the roles and responsibilities in relation to disability services for each jurisdiction. The CSTDA is a key direction setting document and is comprised of a Multilateral and Bilateral Agreement. This is WWDA’s Submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee ‘Inquiry into the Funding and Operation of The Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement’. Copyright WWDA July 2006.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee Inquiry into Women in Sport and Recreation in Australia (June 2006)

In 2006, the Senate Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee undertook an Inquiry into Women in Sport and Recreation in Australia. This is WWDA’s Submission to that Inquiry. Copyright WWDA June 2006.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) on the ‘Reducing Red Tape Initiative’ (May 2006)

In 2006, the Commonwealth Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) undertook a process to focus on reducing red tape whilst at the same time maintaining appropriate standards of transparency and accountability for government. FaCSIA assessed how its programs and processes might be streamlined to increase consistency and reduce unnecessary variations. This paper is WWDA’s response to the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) ‘Reducing Red Tape Initiative’. Copyright WWDA May 2006.